Operation and performance of the mid-infrared camera, NOMIC, on the Large Binocular Telescope

William F. Hoffmann, Philip M. Hinz, Denis Defrère, Jarron M. Leisenring, Andrew J. Skemer, Paul A. Arbo, Manny Montoya, Bertrand Mennesson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

31 Scopus citations


The mid-infrared (8-13 μm) camera, NOMIC, is a critical component of the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer search for exozodiacal light around near-by stars. It is optimized for nulling interferometry but has general capability for direct imaging, low resolution spectrometry, and Fizeau interferometry. The camera uses a Raytheon 1024x1024 Si:As IBC Aquarius array with a 30 μm pitch which yields 0.018 arc-second pixels on the sky. This provides spatial resolution (λ/D) at a 10 μm wavelength of 0.27 arc-seconds for a single 8.4 meter LBT aperture and of 0.10 arcseconds for Fizeau interferometry with the dual apertures. The array is operated with a differential preamplifier and a version of the 16 channel array controller developed at Cornell University for the FORCAST instrument on the Sofia Observatory. With a 2.4 MHz pixel rate the camera can achieve integration times as short as 27 milliseconds full array and 3 milliseconds partial array. The large range of integration times and two array integration well sizes allow for a wide range of background flux on the array. We describe the design and operation of the camera and present the performance of this system in terms of linearity, noise, quantum efficiency, image quality, and photometric sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGround-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V
EditorsSuzanne K. Ramsay, Ian S. McLean, Hideki Takami
ISBN (Electronic)9780819496157
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventGround-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jun 22 2014Jun 26 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherGround-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V


  • exozodiacal light
  • IBC detector
  • Infrared astronomy
  • LBT
  • nulling interferometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Operation and performance of the mid-infrared camera, NOMIC, on the Large Binocular Telescope'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this